SUNDAY: Hundreds of bicyclists riding to and from White Center in the Ride for Major Taylor

April 21st, 2018 at 3:46 pm Posted in Parks, White Center news | No Comments »

A big Cascade Bicycle Club event will start from, and finish in, White Center tomorrow (Sunday, April 22nd) – the fundraising Ride for Major Taylor. The start and finish line are at the bike playground at Dick Thurnau Park – here’s the route map. Riders will be headed down to Tacoma, on to the ferry to south Vashon Island, up Vashon to the ferry to Fauntleroy in West Seattle, and then back to White Center. Online registration is over but if you’re interested in riding and haven’t signed up yet, you can do it at the park at 8 am – details are here.

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READER REPORT: Almost a drive-in

April 18th, 2018 at 11:59 pm Posted in White Center news | No Comments »

Thanks to Klem for the photo from a close call: Around 3:45 pm Wednesday, a driver almost turned McLendon Hardware in White Center into a drive-in … Klem says the driver hit the gas when intending to hit the brakes.

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Native leaders, advocates gather for Racial Equity Team’s historic Lunch and Learn in White Center

April 13th, 2018 at 11:14 pm Posted in Politics, White Center news | No Comments »

By Tracy Record
Editor, White Center Now and West Seattle Blog

Progress, challenges, and inspiration filled a first-of-its-kind lunch meeting at the Technology Access Foundation‘s Bethaday Community Learning Space in White Center on Wednesday.

The Racial Equity Team – a People of Color-led advocacy group explained here – organized a Tribal Lunch and Learn event, with two Native leaders front and center (as they are in our photo above) – State Sen. John McCoy and former Sen. Claudia Kauffman.

“It is tremendously important that we work together to better understand and serve our Native communities in Washington state. Hearing from Native leaders is the first step in this process,” declared the event announcement.

McCoy has been in the Legislature for 15 years. Kauffman served in the State Senate for one term, 2007-2011. They were joined on Wednesday’s panel by Eir Cheeka, Early Native Learning Coordinator from the White Center Community Development Association, and Aren Sparck, Government Affairs Officer from the Seattle Indian Health Board.

The conversation was wide-ranging. Kauffman stressed the importance of maximizing “assets and opportunities.” She recalled organizing a group of Native women for a trip to Olympia, where they toured state offices, and advocated for state action on behalf of missing and murdered Indigenous women (a new state law was signed just two weeks ago).

In Q&A, Kauffman was asked what led to her becoming a legislator. “I’ve always been in politics!” she replied, citing inspiration dating back to childhood. She said those who inspired her included former Montana state legislator Carol Juneau (who is also the mother of Denise Juneau, who is in negotiations to become Seattle Public Schools‘ next superintendent).

WCCDA’s Cheeka spoke of her journey to advocacy, and the importance of education – both in her life, in her work, and what she is considering now as a parent of young children who will be in school soon. She also shared memories of life-changing events, such as the 1989 Paddle to Seattle.

How can non-Natives help with the fight for equity? she was asked. Educating yourself is the first task, Cheeka said, who also advised seeking out Tribal leaders and Native professors and other educators, asking questions.

Sen. McCoy picked up the discussion of education, recounting the system being geared toward “assimilation, institutional racism … (and) belonging to the whites,” so “we really don’t have a handle on the data around who’s in our schools … we are trying to correct that.” He serves on two committees, co-chairing the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee. The lack of data is a major concern to him, and he fears it will get even worse with the Census results after the Trump Administration’s addition of a citizenship question. The count is important, McCoy stressed, because “that’s how we get funding” – it’s important to get the data “so we know who we are working with.”

Last to speak was Sparck from the Seattle Indian Health Board, and he brought a slide deck with a primer, “Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Health 101.” The history lesson went back to the “doctrine of discovery” starting in 1492, continuing to the present day, and talking about the unique status of Natives. He, for example, is an Alaska Native, and notes that “just because I leave my hometown I don’t stop being a Cup’ik person.” You don’t have to be an enrolled member to get service from Urban Indian health programs: “We work with everybody.”

There was a little more Q&A time before the event wrapped up, and that led to participants’ acknowledgment of communities working in solidarity – different Native communities, and beyond that, different communities of color. It’s vital to include youth in leadership development, participants agreed.

Concluding the lunch meeting, the RET’s community liaison, former state legislator Velma Veloria, declared it a “historical moment for equity and education,” commemorated with a group photo (as seen atop our story). To find out about future RET events, you can e-mail

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UPDATE: Gunfire investigation on 1st Avenue South

April 11th, 2018 at 4:18 pm Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 1 Comment »

(WCN photo by Patrick Sand)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:18 PM: We are awaiting official info from the King County Sheriff’s Office but so far via the scanner we hear they are closing 1st Avenue South between 116th and 124th to investigate gunfire. No one shot, so far as we have heard, but at least one car is reported to have been hit. Deputies are looking for a vehicle with suspects, described so far as a white Camry. We’re headed down to check on the road situation and will update.

5:44 PM UPDATE: The road is reopening. KCSO says, “This appears to be a road rage incident that turned into occupants of 1 vehicle firing multiple shots at another vehicle. Those occupants of the 2nd vehicle returned fire and then crashed into 2 parked cars and a fence. No one injured, other vehicle fled the scene.”

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Library, levy, and more @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s April 2018 meeting

April 9th, 2018 at 12:42 am Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | No Comments »

Another information-laden meeting for the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council this past Thursday night. Two of the guests were recorded on video, starting with the new head of the King County Library System:

(Video from NHUAC April 5, 2018, meeting, recorded as livestreamed by David Krause)

KCLS director Lisa Rosenblum has been on the job now for about three months. The upcoming renovation of the Boulevard Park branch was a major concern for NHUAC. It’s going out to bid in May, with construction starting in June and lasting about nine months, so by this time next year, the work should be done and the library should be back open. In the meantime, other branches including White Center and Burien will be ready to handle the increased usage, and they will evaluate how that goes before deciding whether there’s any other way to provide services to the people who won’t be able to access the BP branch.

She was followed by Leo Flor, talking about the King County veterans/seniors/human-services levy renewal approved by votes last year. For the next six years, it’s taxing you 10 cents for every $1,000 valuation of your property. Next year, it will generate $54 million, and the money will go to housing, social engagement, health services for veterans, seniors – defined as people 55 years old and over – and their caregivers, and other “vulnerable populations.” (There’s a four-page definition of what that means, Flor noted.) Some of the money will aim at preventing homelessness by addressing housing instability and disrepair, as well as providing legal advice to help people stave off eviction if possible. Asked how much of the money would go to administrative costs, Flor said that’s capped at five percent.

The area commander of the Disabled American Veterans organization, Ron Bryant, a U.S. Navy veteran, said DAV is actually for all veterans, and their Delridge HQ is ready to serve any veteran from anywhere in the state. They’re particularly concerned with homeless veterans and meet with them frequently to offer information and referrals, as well as food; toward that end, the local chapter welcomes donations of food and money.

Also at the NHUAC meeting, a briefing from the King County Sheriff’s Office. Storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer was there with an update on trends and stats. He discussed the recent Smoke Shop raid, saying the business has moved to a different location and authorities are keeping watch on that. He also said investigators were looking into whether a suspect killed in a shootout with officers in Federal Way a few days earlier was linked to property crimes in this area.

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets first Thursdays most months, 7 pm at NH Fire District HQ.

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2 weeks to Duwamish Alive! Want to volunteer?

April 7th, 2018 at 11:49 pm Posted in Environment, How to Help, White Center news | No Comments »

Two weeks until the twice-yearly Duwamish Alive! multi-site work party celebrates Earth Day, on Saturday, April 21st, at sites around the area. If you’d like to help, sign up fast – some spots are already full! Here’s the list, and how to volunteer.

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PHOTOS: White Center Chamber of Commerce hosts King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht

April 6th, 2018 at 10:04 am Posted in Businesses, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 1 Comment »

FIRST REPORT, 10:04 AM: King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht is visiting White Center this morning, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. Our photo is from a discussion at Noble Barton that started the visit, which then was scheduled to move to the Beer and Wine Source, with a walking tour to follow.

ADDED FRIDAY EVENING: The sheriff got an earful as she was taken on a tour of the area.

She listened to the continuing concerns of businesspeople, and had some explanations of her own. Resources remain a challenge, and right now she’s working on budget-writing.

With White Center just on the other side of the city limits, collaboration with Seattle Police is important, and Sheriff Johanknecht said her department is working on that.

It’s been three months since Johanknecht, a West Seattle resident was sworn in as sheriff as the culmination of a 30+-year career with KCSO.

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Meet the new King County Library System director, talk about community safety, and more on Thursday @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

April 2nd, 2018 at 10:23 am Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | Comments Off on Meet the new King County Library System director, talk about community safety, and more on Thursday @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

The agenda is out for this Thursday’s monthly meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

When: Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 7 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station at 1243 SW 112th Street in White Center
(Parking and Entrance are in the Back of the Station)

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

At last month’s NHUAC meeting, KCSO’s gang expert shared some insights into local gangs and what they look like. Poverty and neighborhoods matter. The recent murders of a local middle-school girl and a 19-year-old in Burien brought the truth of Detective Gagliardi’s words home.

How did we become a community where 10-year-olds are gang members and witnesses to murder? Although we can only begin the conversation this month, please be sure that NHUAC will not avoid it.

Deputy Bill Kennamer and Captain Rick Bridges, head of Operations for Precinct 4, will join us this month to update us about police activity in our community. It has been a busy month.

On the upside….

Lisa Rosenblum is the new director of the King County Library System. She has been described as “…undaunted by challenges, our geographic reach, and our mission to serve our diverse population of patrons.” Ms. Rosenblum will join us to share her perspective after almost 3 months on the job. Please join us in welcoming her!

The Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy will provide $24 million in housing investments. Executive Constantine recently sent his Implementation Plan to the King County Council. Leo Flor, VSHSL Levy Renewal Manager, will educate us about the plan and timeline.

Community member Wendell Davis will be back with some of his fellow veterans to tell us more about Disabled American Veterans and its local chapter.

Then… the floor will be yours!

Knowledge is power. Learn, share and help make our community a better place.

April 5, 2018 at 7 pm – Bring a Neighbor!

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CAMP SECOND CHANCE: April 5 deadline for renewal comments; April 8 meeting for Community Advisory Committee

April 1st, 2018 at 3:54 pm Posted in Myers Way, White Center news | Comments Off on CAMP SECOND CHANCE: April 5 deadline for renewal comments; April 8 meeting for Community Advisory Committee

Two notes today about the City of Seattle-sanctioned encampment on Myers Way, Camp Second Chance:

DEADLINE FOR RENEWAL COMMENTS: April 5th – this Thursday – is the city’s deadline for comments on whether the encampment’s permit should be renewed for another year. We covered the recent community meeting on the proposed renewal here; you can comment by e-mailing (with Myers Way in the subject line) and/or calling 206-727-8496.

COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE: The first Sunday of the month would normally be the meeting date for Camp Second Chance’s city-mandated Community Advisory Committee, but because of the holidays, the meeting will instead be next Sunday, April 8th – usual time and place, 2 pm at Arrowhead Gardens (9200 2nd SW). Our coverage of last month’s committee meeting is here.

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FOLLOWUP: White Center bank robbery suspect charged

March 31st, 2018 at 4:22 pm Posted in Crime, White Center news | Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: White Center bank robbery suspect charged

The 19-year-old arrested hours after the White Center KeyBank was robbed on March 22nd is now charged with first-degree robbery. That’s the charge filed this week against Khalid K. Mohamed, and the charging documents reveal more details of what investigators say happened.

Mohamed is accused of holding up the bank by typing a demand note on his cell phone and showing it to a teller. Prosecutors say it read, “Give me your money. I have a gun. Do not press the alarm or I will shoot you (or kill you).” Other details suggest he came to this area four days before the robbery and intended to leave immediately thereafter – he was staying with a cousin at the Boulevard Park complex where he was arrested. He is reported to have told investigators he lives in Utah, though his ID card was from Minnesota, where he has other relatives. The charging documents say he was found via a tracking device in the $1,245 cash he got away with. It had been tossed into the trash at the apartment complex but “wet footprints” subsequently led them to the unit where Mohamed was staying. Deputies kept watch on the apartment while seeking a search warrant that was subsequently granted. Court documents say Mohamed exited the apartment just as deputies got word that the search warrant had been approved, so they took him into custody and went inside. They reported finding his packed suitcase, containing almost all the stolen cash, plus the clothing he was wearing during the robbery – as shown on surveillance video – and the Louis Vuitton bag he had displayed during the holdup, implying he had a gun in his hand inside the bag. Mohamed remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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FOLLOWUP: Liquor Cannabis Board says it seized $50,000+ of marijuana from Smoke Shop

March 28th, 2018 at 5:38 pm Posted in Businesses, Crime, White Center news | 15 Comments »

Last night, we reported briefly on a state Liquor and Cannabis Board action against The Smoke Shop in downtown White Center. Today, we asked the LCB for details; here’s the reply from spokesperson Brian Smith:

Enforcement received a tip that “The Smoke Shop”, an LCB licensed tobacco and vapor products retailer located at 9823 16th Ave SW in White Center, was illegally selling marijuana, including to minors. An LCB Officer entered the store yesterday afternoon and made an undercover buy from a clerk.

The officer paid $50 for 9 grams of flower. After the purchase, the officer obtained a search warrant for the smoke shop. LCB enforcement officers executed the search warrant yesterday afternoon. Three King County deputies also assisted. The officers located over 13 pounds of marijuana flower, concentrates and pre-rolled joints in the smoke shop. The retail value of the product was estimated at over $50,000.00.

The clerk was arrested by LCB officers and booked into the King County jail. The marijuana, a 12-gauge shotgun, and approximately $2,700 were seized as evidence. The shotgun was located in a backroom safe with the marijuana and cash. During the operation, officers also contacted a 19-year-old minor who purchased marijuana from the store. Officers will be recommending felony charges for unlawful possession and distribution of a controlled substance (RCW 69.50.401). LBC will also be serving a violation to The Smoke Shop for operating the tobacco and vapor licensed business in violation of chapter 69.50 RCW (RCW 70.155.150). The penalty of the AVN is revocation of both the tobacco and vapor product licenses.

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Search warrant served at Smoke Shop

March 27th, 2018 at 11:45 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 2 Comments »

We’ll be following up on this Wednesday: King County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bill Kennamer reported on Tuesday night that “The Liquor Cannabis Board, with assistance from the King County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant at The Smoke Shop at 9823 16 Ave SW. A significant amount of illegal and untaxed marijuana and a pistol gripped shotgun were recovered.”

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SATURDAY: Breakfast benefit for WCCDA at Lil’ Woody’s

March 26th, 2018 at 6:57 pm Posted in How to Help, White Center news | 2 Comments »

Lots of pre-Easter fun this Saturday … and you can fuel up for it with a benefit breakfast in downtown White Center:

Lil Woody’s White Center will partner with the White Center Community Development Association (WCCDA) for their quarterly neighborhood breakfast feed fundraiser.

The family-focused events harken back to a time when the White Center space was once home to the Epicure restaurant, a major gathering spot in the 1950’s- known to be where “the elite meet to eat.” The “EP” as it was called, was owned and operated by Joe Boothby, who cooked roast beef on a spit near the front window. The meat became a favorite offering of the restaurant, along with the annual pancake breakfast fundraisers held downstairs.

On Saturday, March 31, from 9 am-11 am, Lil Woody’s will be flipping lots of pancakes. The cost of the breakfast is $5 for kids and $10 for adults. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the WCCDA. Marcus Lalario of Lil Woody’s says: “We think it’s great to be located in a building that has played such a great role in White Center’s history. These breakfasts are a nod to that past and by pairing up with the WCCDA, we can give back to the community that supports us.”

Food: Pancakes |Scrambled eggs |Bacon
Drinks: Mimosas |Caffe Vita Coffee

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VIDEO: 250 superheroes run and walk in White Center 5K 2018

March 24th, 2018 at 10:42 am Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center Food Bank, White Center news | Comments Off on VIDEO: 250 superheroes run and walk in White Center 5K 2018

10:42 AM: Those are some of the ~250 people (and a few dogs!) who hit the road for this morning’s White Center 5K. The run/walk, which started and finished at White Center Heights Park, again carried a “superhero” theme – and everyone who participated was a superhero by raising money for the White Center Community Development Association, White Center Food Bank, and YES Foundation of White Center. We’ll be adding photos shortly!

ADDED 12:22 PM: As promised:

(WCN photos by Patrick Sand)

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UPDATE: Deputies arrest suspect in White Center bank robbery

March 22nd, 2018 at 1:13 pm Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | Comments Off on UPDATE: Deputies arrest suspect in White Center bank robbery

1:13 PM: Thanks to the tipster who asked about a large police response in White Center. The King County Sheriff’s Office confirms that they’re investigating a bank robbery that happened around 12:30 pm, at the KeyBank on 17th SW. No one reported to be in custody yet. More as we get it.

1:25 PM: Added the photo above. We asked KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott for any description information about the robber – “Black man in his 20’s, 5’5″, slim build. Facial hair, black hoodie, with a bag.”

(Photo courtesy Aaron Wells Photography)
4:18 PM: After deputies tracked a suspect to a Boulevard Park apartment building near S. 118th and Des Moines Memorial Drive, the SWAT team came in to work toward arresting him. Within the past hour, they succeeded in taking him into custody, Sgt. Abbott confirms.

9:22 PM: Additional details in a news release from Sgt. Abbott:

Today, 03/22/2018 at 1230 PM, a bank robbery occurred at the Key Bank, 9600 BLK of 17 Ave. SW in White Center. The (robber) implied that he had a gun to the teller inside the bank, and fled the scene after the robbery. Video surveillance was quickly obtained … and Deputies were able to track him down at an apartment complex in Burien at the 1800 Block of S 118.

Once Deputies arrived on scene, they found a bag of money that had been thrown off the balcony of an upper apartment unit. Deputies on-scene were able to obtain information from witnesses, which led them to the exact apartment where the suspect had barricaded himself in. The Deputies experienced multiple failed attempts to get the suspect out of the apartment unit. KCSO’s SWAT team was called out to the scene. The suspect saw the armored SWAT vehicles arriving, along with the SWAT members, and surrendered to Police. The suspect was arrested without incident. No one was injured; this was an excellent job by all Deputies and Detectives on scene.

The 19 year old suspect was booked into KCJ for robbery.

We checked, and he does not appear to have a record; the definitive word on that will come as his case makes it through the court system – we will follow up.

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VIDEO: Evergreen, Cascade students join national walkout

March 14th, 2018 at 10:48 am Posted in Schools, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Our first video clip includes the 17 seconds of silence observed by Evergreen High School and Cascade Middle School students this morning as they joined in the national student walkouts marking one month since the school massacre in Florida. They also chanted and heard fellow students’ speeches before going back to class after about 20 minutes of gathering.

Thanks to the students who invited us to be there to cover their gathering in the lot on the northwest side of campus.

ADDED: Video of the students who spoke:

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KCSO warns of frightening scam – telephoned kidnap claims

March 13th, 2018 at 3:27 pm Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | Comments Off on KCSO warns of frightening scam – telephoned kidnap claims

Just in from the King County Sheriff’s Office, an alert about a terrifying scam, with one call made to someone living in our area:

In a span of 4 days, a new *SCAM* has surfaced. Male suspect or younger sounding female claims they have kidnapped the caller’s kids and won’t return them without money.

On 03/08/2018 in the Ravensdale area, a Mom had dropped her two kids off at the school bus in the morning. A short time after the bus left, the mom got a call from a blocked number. The male caller, described as having an accent, stated that he had her daughter and used her real name, although he had her last name slightly wrong. He told the mom that if she didn’t meet him with money in exchange for her daughter’s release he would “kill the child.” In a panic, the mom called the school and confirmed both her daughters were in school and safe.

Four days later, on 03/12/2018 in unincorporated King County near White Center, a father received a phone call from a blocked number. A younger-sounding female came on the line pretending to be the daughter of that father. The female stated she was kidnapped and the suspect needed money to release her. The male suspect, again described as having an accent, then got on the phone and demanded money from the father or he “would hurt her.” The suspect then hung up on the father and the number was blocked so he had no way to call back. The father called his daughter’s school and, once again, was assured the child was safe at school with no issues.

Please keep in mind these type of phone calls are *SCAMS* – never provide money to anyone over the phone.

The parents did the right thing in these instances – confirmed with the school their kids were ok and called 911 to report it.

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TALK ABOUT IT: Highline Public Schools sets dates to discuss safety

March 12th, 2018 at 10:17 am Posted in safety, Schools, White Center news | Comments Off on TALK ABOUT IT: Highline Public Schools sets dates to discuss safety

Just out of the inbox, from Highline Public Schools:

Highline Public Schools Invites Community to Talk Safety
Meetings on School Safety Begin March 22

In response to recent incidents of school violence, Highline Public Schools is initiating a conversation with the community around school safety. Community meetings are being held at the four comprehensive high schools. Families, community members, and staff are invited to learn about safety plans and procedures and engage in a conversation about how to work together to improve school safety.

Thursday, March 22, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Evergreen High School library
830 SW 116th Street

Thursday, April 19, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Highline High School library
225 South 152nd Street, Burien

Tuesday, May 1, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Tyee High School library
4424 South 188th Street, SeaTac

Thursday, May 10, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Mount Rainier High School library
22450 19th Avenue South, Des Moines

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SATURDAY: Crab feed to support Evergreen High School Athletics

March 9th, 2018 at 12:49 pm Posted in Evergreen High School, How to Help, White Center news | Comments Off on SATURDAY: Crab feed to support Evergreen High School Athletics

Tomorrow’s the big night – Saturday, March 10th, the Crab Feed to raise money for Evergreen High School Athletics! 6-10 pm, be at the White Center Eagles‘ hall (10452 15th SW). Aaron Garcia sent the remidner:

Thank you to all those who bought tickets and we’ll be joining us this Saturday, we’re looking forward celebrating with you. We’re going to have delicious crab prepped by the legendary Tyrone Curry Sr, Live Music, Raffle and overall a ton of fun!

If you haven’t bought a ticket yet, please jump on this opportunity to support Evergreen High School Athletics! Remember 100% of the proceeds go toward Evergreen HS athletics and activities and this dinner is entirely supported by donations and volunteers!

You can buy your ticket online right now.

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COUNTDOWN: White Center 5K 2018 getting closer!

March 8th, 2018 at 1:48 am Posted in Fun, White Center 5K, White Center news | Comments Off on COUNTDOWN: White Center 5K 2018 getting closer!

A little over two weeks until this year’s White Center 5K!

Signed up yet? If not – go here. It’s big fun on the morning of Saturday, March 24th, with racers starting at 9 am, walkers 10 minutes later. Three WC nonprofits (White Center CDA, YES Foundation of WC, White Center Food Bank) benefit from the proceeds, and you benefit from a morning of superhero-themed fun. Note that:

Registration includes a free T-SHIRT!

The course is pet-friendly, stroller-friendly, and wheelchair-accessible.

Race packet can be picked up at White Center Heights Park on race day at 7:45 AM.

Questions? Email us at

WC Heights Park is where it all begins – 7th SW and SW 102nd.

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